Friday, November 4, 1864

SPECIAL FIELD ORDERS, HDQRS. MIL. DIV. OF THE MISS., In the Field, Kingston, Ga., Numbers 115.
November 4, 1864.

I. In view of the contemplated movement, the commanding generals of the Fourteenth, Fifteenth, Seventeenth, and Twentieth Corps, will hold their commands prepared on short notice to march, provided with as much bread, salt, sugar, coffee, and ammunition as they can transport with their present means, each corps independent of all others and independent of the general supply train. All camp and garrison equipage, boxes, chests, trunks, or anything whatsoever tending to overload wagons or to impede rapid movements, will at once be sent to the rear by railroad if transportation can be had; else prepared for destruction about the time of departure.

II. The general plan of movement will be as follows: As much notice as possible will be given in advance to General Easton, at Atlanta, and General Steedman, at Chattanooga, who are charged with the responsibility of causing all the rolling-stock of the railroad to be removed to and north of Resaca, from which point General Steedman will cover its removal into Chattanooga. The railroad lying between Resaca and Etowah bridge will be left substantially undisturbed. The bridge at Resaca, and the iron north of it, will be removed by cars into Chattanooga and stored for future use. The railroad from the Etowah bridge into Atlanta will be destroyed. The Fourteenth Corps will be charged with the destruction of that road from Etowah to Big Shanty, the Fifteenth and Seventeenth Corps with that from Kenesaw to Chattanooga bridge, and the Twentieth Corps from the Chattanooga into had including Atlanta.

III. On receiving the order to march, the troops embraced in this order will be put in motion from their present camps, each corps to its appointed task, sending forward its supply train to Atlanta to be loaded up for its contemplated march. Having done the work prescribed, in the most summary manner, the troops will be pushed forward to Atlanta, the Army of the Cumberland in Atlanta, the Army of the Tennessee about White Hall. The army commanders are enjoined to observe as much caution and secrecy as is possible and to act with the utmost energy, as after our railroad communication as broken every hour of our time is essential to success.
By order of Major General W. T. Sherman:
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

KINGSTON, November 4, 1864
Major-General HOWARD, Marietta, Ga.:
Beauregard is at Florence, and thus far has made no movement farther north. Stanley is at Pulaski, and Schofield in cars moving from Chattanooga to Nashville. Davis is here, and Corse still at Rome, and J. E. Smith assembling his Division at Cartersville. Road and telegraph in good order. There is no need of pushing your troops, and you may hold them anywhere between Marietta and the Chattahoochee you please, convenient to forage, wood, &c., only I want you to rest at some appointed place in order that I may reach you with orders. I will send by Captain Steele today manuscript orders that will make all things plain to you.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General

ATLANTA, November 4, 1864
Major-General SHERMAN:
I am much disappointed in the working of the road. I have urged everybody and everything, but have been able to get in here only seventy-seven cars in the last twenty-four hours, all of which have been promptly unloaded, reloaded, and started back. I am sorry to disappoint you, but am doing my very best. They have accumulated more plunder in the last two months than I supposed could have been got here in six. We have an abundant supply of grain, which I wish you would send animals here to eat up.
L. C. EASTON, Chief Quartermaster

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 4, 1864.

Brigadier General John M. CORSE, Rome, Ga.:
The commanding general directs that on receiving notice to evacuate Rome, by telegraph, of which he will give you as much notice in advance as circumstances will permit, that you destroy in the most effective manner, by fire or otherwise, all bridges, foundries, shops of all kinds and description, barracks, warehouses, and buildings especially adapted to armed use, lumber or timber, as also all cars off the track, or material that cannot be removed, and then remove your command, via Kingston and Allatoona, to Marietta, and report to General Howard, commanding Army of the Tennessee.
HENRY HITCHOCK, Major and Assistant Adjutant-General.

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 4, 1864.
Brigadier General J. M. CORSE, Rome, Ga.:
You will have most likely two days to complete the payment of troops. Do you require hospital train to remove your sick and wounded? The general wishes you to reconnoiter with cavalry well down to Cedar Springs to learn if the enemy has watched Howard’s movement for the Chattanoochee; also a party out about our old camp to ascertain if any considerable force has been back in that vicinity, and where it has gone to. Beauregard is about Florence, fortifying and laying still. Two of the transports captured on the Tennessee were burned; one has been recaptured, and the other our the gun-boat chases down the river toward a fleet coming up, and will be destroyed or retaken. No other news.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp.

Thomas Writes from NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE:

Colonel C. R. Thompson, commanding at Johnsonville, telegraphs this p.m. that three gun-boats were disabled at Johnsonville today and abandoned, and destroyed by fire by rebel batteries on the western bank of the Tennessee River, and that rebel batteries opposite the town on the other side of the river were engaging the batteries at that place. He also reports that the gun-boat and transports captured by the enemy a few days since were all destroyed. In addition to the above I have just received the following dispatch from Lieutenant Commander E. M. King to Commander Shirk, Paducah:
At daylight this morning the Undine came up through a chute at Reynoldsburg Island, loaded with rebels, who fired her and left. At 8 a.m the Paw Paw and three other gun-boats came in sight. I went down with Elfin and Tawah and engaged a battery of 20-pounder Parrotts above Ryenoldsburg Island, WEST side; it was too much for us. The Key WEST received ten shells through upper works, seven through berth deck, and two through hull; guns disabled on my vessel and Elfin; shell of Tawah, received from Nashville, mostly too large. At 10 a.m. we returned here. At 2 p.m. enemy’s batteries opened on us at this place, above and below. The three boats and forts engaged; a shipping cable got foul of the stern wheel. Anchor was weighed and Tawah took us in tow and we moved to bank opposite upper battery. Both batteries now opened on us; after firing away mostly all our ammunition I gave orders to get ready to fire boats. Tawah’s starboard bow Parrott disabled by enemy’s shell; my boat’s wheel disabled and cams bent. Seeing it was impossible to hold out longer we burnt the boat reluctantly. Paw Paw and other boats are below with batteries above and, I think, below them. My officers and crew I have ordered to the fort. Johnsonville can only be saved by a large force and iron-clads. Seven transports and our prize Venus are set on fire. We have done what we could.
After reading this dispatch I have determined to send the Twenty- third Corps to Johnsonville. It is now on the way here for Pulaski. The first trains will reach town tonight, and will be at once sent forward. I have telegraphed Colonel Thompson, who has a force of nearly 4,000 men, that he must not think of abandoning the place, and that reenforcement will reach him by tomorrow night. I do not see how the enemy can cross the river to attack the fort, and therefore feel sure that I can get Schofield’s corps there in time.
General Croxton reports from Shoal Creek bridge at 7:30 p.m. yesterday that the enemy was repulsed in their attempt to cross the Tennessee River at Blue Water, half way between Florence and the mouth of Elk River; that the force at Florence remains the same, and in the same position as last reported by him. General Granger reports from Decatur 10:05 a.m. today that he sent scouts out on the Moulton and Courtland roads last night; that the party on the Moulton road saw no enemy, and was informed by citizens that no enemy had passed that road since October 31.
The party on the Courtland road drove back some Texas cavalry, which they ascertained to be part of the Texas Legion, of which three regiments are encamped between Decatur and Courtland. Citizens report to them that they were told by the soldiers, and others who came up from Tuscumbia, that the main part of Beauregard’s army had gone to Corinth. He put one corps across the river at Florence, and commenced fortifying, but he had moved on himself and had also withdrawn a part of that force. The above statements are corroborated by citizens living on the Moulton road, who say that this is the general impression in that section.
GEO. H. THOMAS, Major-General, U. S. Volunteers.

HEADQUARTERS DISTRICT OF THE ETOWAH, Chattanooga, November 4, 1864.
Major General W. T. SHERMAN, Atlanta:

The following dispatch from General Granger, dated Decatur, November 4, 10. 15 a. m., is just received:

I sent out last night a scout seven miles on the Moulton road and one on the Courtland road. Both this moment returned. The scout on the Moulton road met no enemy and saw no signs; they report no soldiers having that way since Monday. The party on the Courtland road drove back some Texas cavalry, which they ascertained to be part of the Texas Legion, of which three regiments are encamped between this and Courtland. Citizens report that they were told by the soldiers and others who came up from Tuscumbia that the main part of Beauregard’s army had gone to Corinth. He put one corps a cross the river at Florence and commenced fortifying, but had moved on himself and had withdrawn part of that force. A citizens from Mud Tavern, on the Moulton road, corroborates the above and says that is the general impression in that section.

JAMES B. STEEDMAN, Major-General

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 4, 1864.
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
Your dispatch of today is received, indicating that Beauregard has moved toward Corinth. I do not wish him in a better place. The trains, on our railroad are not working to my satisfaction. Tell the superintendent I want him to stop running cars for the accommodation of travelers, but to make up a gang of 30 or 40 cars to carry to Atlanta in one trip all we need, and take back all that is necessary. I want this done at once, as I propose to start as soon as the present storm clears away. The whole army is now distributed along the road so as to cover it perfectly. I would like to have you meet me here to confer and superintend the removal back to Chattanooga all railroad stock and garrisons on the breaking up of the road. Answer.
W. T. SHERMAN, Major-General, Commanding

HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI, In the Field, Kingston, Ga., November 4, 1864.
Major-General STEEDMAN, Chattanooga, Tenn.:
I am directed by General Sherman to say that his order directing you to guard the road to Cartesville should read to Adairsville. Relieve General Smith’s troops at Adairsville and Resaca as soon as you can. You will get further written instructions.
L. M. DAYTON, Aide-de-Camp

Croxton Reports:

A scout just in from over the river reports the larger part of Hood’s army still south of the river, out of rations and butchering everything in the country. Hardee’s corps and cavalry not yet arrived, as General Sherman expected. I attacked their outposts yesterday on the Huntsville, military, and intermediate roads, and, driving them a short distance, came upon a strong and well connected line of infantry, and saw beyond the smoke of their camps. They allow no passing in or out, and it is exceedingly difficult for me to get reliable information. I have a prisoner taken the 31st ultimo belonging to Cleburne’s Division.

I received this request from Confederate General Gideon Pillow:

Major-General SHERMAN;
I have received information that my residence and the home of my family, near Columbia, has been sold, or is to be sold in a short time, by decree of confiscation, and that my family are to be turned out of if it becomes a necessity, and I send this communication to get your permission for their removal and your safeguard for such carriages and horses or mules and wagons as may be necessary to bring out such personal baggage as they may be allowed to remove. All my large estate having been confiscated by authority of your Government, and my family thus reduced to poverty, they are left without the means of getting out. My family consists of a wife and six daughters (nearly all unwed ladies) and a little son nearly eleven years old. Under such circumstances, I will accept it as a personal courtesy, amenitory of the harshness of this war, if you would permit me to go in person to my residence to make the necessary arrangements for their removal, and to carry with me, under your safeguard, such means of transportation as I may be able to command here and such carriages as I may be able to procure from my friends there. I also respectfully ask that you will allow such servants of my family as may choose voluntarily to come with them to do so, that having been allowed to the citizens of Atlanta.

If the application is not allowed in the form presented, you will confer a favor on me to allow a personal interview with yourself, designating time and place. If allowed myself to enter your lines, I would do so under such injunctions of silence as you may think proper to impose. I addressed a similar communication some weeks ago to Major-General Rosseau, through Brigadier-General Roddey, but have received no answer. A small guard of Confederates or Federals which you will also please allow, to protect them from bushwhackers and robbers.
Very respectfully,
GIDEON J. PILLOW, Brigadier-General, C. S. Army

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